Peppa Pig joins with Spielberg for new film venture

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[December 17, 2015]    (Reuters) - Peppa Pig maker Entertainment One has teamed up with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Pictures to create a new film, television and digital content company to expand beyond its popular cartoon show.

The joint venture company, Amblin Partners, will take on film distribution duties in new regions, including productions already in the works such as The BFG and The Girl on the Train.

Amblin Partners will also have backing from Indian conglomerate Reliance Group and Participant Media, a company led by former eBay president Jeff Skoll.

"Amblin Partners will create content using the Amblin, DreamWorks Pictures and Participant brands ... to tell stories that appeal to a wide range of audiences," Entertainment One said in a statement.

Shares in Entertainment One were up 5.4 percent by mid morning. They have been under pressure over the last six months due to delays around film releases and a refinancing.

Entertainment One did not disclose the size of its stake in Amblin Partners.

Peel Hunt analyst Malcolm Morgan said that although the company was silent on the scale of the equity stake or its cost, he saw it as a "small positive item" today after a few weeks of adverse trading and financing news flow.

The name Amblin comes from the name of a short film made by Spielberg in 1968, which kicked off his career. He later formed a production company called Amblin Entertainment.

(Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; editing by Kate Holton and Jane Merriman)

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